Susan Olsen

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Susan Olsen
Olsen in 2009
Susan Marie Olsen

(1961-08-14) August 14, 1961 (age 62)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
EducationWilliam Howard Taft High School
  • Actress
  • radio personality
Years active1968–present
Known forThe Brady Bunch
The Brady Kids
The Bradys

Susan Marie Olsen (born August 14, 1961) is an American actress and former radio host. Olsen is known for her role as Cindy Brady, the youngest Brady child in the sitcom The Brady Bunch for the full run of the show, from 1969 to 1974.

Early life[edit]

Olsen was born in Santa Monica, California, to Lawrence and DeLoice Olsen, the youngest of four children.[1] Her siblings are: Larry (23 years older), Christopher (15 years older), and Diane (5 years older). Christopher was also a child actor whose most prominent role may be in the 1956 feature film The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).

Susan Olsen really did have a lisp. That feature was real, and Olsen worked hard to overcome the speech impediment throughout her life. Olsen's role as the youngest Brady followed her after she left the series, and she was often teased for portraying the character. She graduated from William H. Taft High School in Woodland Hills, California in 1979.[2]

Acting career[edit]

Early roles and The Brady Bunch[edit]

Olsen landed a number of supporting roles in television, most notably in Ironside, Gunsmoke, and Julia, and appeared in the Elvis Presley movie The Trouble With Girls (1968) as a squeaky-clean singer in a singing contest.

Olsen as Cindy Brady, the youngest of The Brady Bunch

At just under age eight, Olsen was cast as Cindy Brady on The Brady Bunch. As an adult, Olsen has said that portraying Cindy made friendships difficult for her as a child. She most disliked the season two "tattletale" episode, in which Cindy incessantly tattles on her siblings. Because of the episode, she was shunned by real-life peers, who did not understand the difference between actors and their characters.[citation needed] Olsen has appeared in all Brady Bunch reunion movies with the exception of A Very Brady Christmas (1988), which was filmed when she and her first husband Steve Ventimiglia were on their honeymoon. In that movie, Cindy Brady was played by actress Jennifer Runyon. Olsen reprised her role as Cindy Brady in the short-lived CBS spin-off series The Bradys.

In 2005, VH1 ranked her No. 34 in The 100 Greatest Kid Stars of television and film.[3] In 2007, Olsen and her fellow cast members were honored with the TV Pop Culture Award on the TV Land Awards, one of the few awards The Brady Bunch has ever won.

As a teen, Olsen was the spokesgirl for Sindy doll, made by Marx Toys from the mid-1970s. As an adult, Olsen moved into the graphic design business and in 1998 briefly marketed a brand of glow-in-the-dark shoes for Converse. She also worked as a talk show host at the Los Angeles radio station KLSX from 1995 to 1996 with Ken Ober, and co-hosted and co-wrote another radio show with comedian Allan Havey at Comedy World in 2000.[citation needed]

After The Brady Bunch[edit]

Along with Brady Bunch costar Mike Lookinland, she auditioned for The Swiss Family Robinson television series in 1975. Her role was eventually played by Helen Hunt. In 1976, she signed on for the variety show, The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, which lasted ten episodes.

After graduating high school in 1979, her acting roles were few, save for several Brady Bunch reunion specials. An urban legend claimed that Olsen had become an adult film star. In a late 1990s television interview, Olsen stated that her "porn" connection was that she created space ship sound effects for a porn film called Love Probe from a Warm Planet.[4]

She appeared in episode 26 of Cartoon Network's talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast, "Switcheroo", with Cassandra Peterson as "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark". Olsen has also been an advocate for migraine sufferers since 1998. She described her headaches on Larry King Live.[citation needed] In the fall of 2008, Olsen appeared on Fox Reality's Gimme My Reality Show, in which celebrities compete to win their own reality show. She used this vehicle to make a statement about animal rescue, a cause with which she is thoroughly involved. On June 6, 2009, Olsen thanked retired game show host and animal rights activist Bob Barker when The Bradys accepted an honor at the GSN Awards. An animal welfare advocate, she has served on the board of directors of the nonprofit organization Precious Paws, a rescue group.[citation needed]

On September 1, 2009, Olsen released the coffee table book Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour that celebrates the 1976–77 television variety show The Brady Bunch Hour. [citation needed]

In September 2010, Olsen made a guest appearance on The Young and the Restless playing Mrs. Liza Morton, the owner of a preschool. In 2011, she appeared in season 3, episode 43 of The Biography Channel's reality show Celebrity Ghost Stories. [citation needed]

In July 2012, Olsen was one of a limited number of artists and celebrities invited to show their work in Art with an Agenda: An Exhibit Inspired by Kelly Thomas at the PAS Gallery in Fullerton, California.[5] inspired by the life and circumstances surrounding the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless, schizophrenic, 37-year-old man who was beaten by members of the Fullerton Police Department on July 5, 2011.[6] Olsen's piece, "Still Life," showed a half-eaten donut in a puddle of blood beside a lit flashlight.[7]

In December 2016, Olsen was fired from her radio show, "Two Chicks Talkin' Politics" on LA Talk Radio, after engaging in a feud with openly gay actor Leon Acord-Whiting. Responding to comments Acord-Whiting had made about her on another station, Olsen unleashed a profane rant against him, accusing him of cowardice. Acord-Whiting accused Olsen of homophobia for the remarks (which included repeated use of the word "faggot") and successfully lobbied to have Olsen fired.[8][9] Olsen told Fox News in 2019 that she has "been the subject of fake news" and "never got fired."[10]

Olsen joined with the other surviving main cast members of The Brady Bunch in the 2019 television series A Very Brady Renovation on HGTV.[11] In 2021, she starred in the Lifetime Christmas movie, Blending Christmas, alongside her Brady Bunch co-stars Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, Barry Williams, and Robbie Rist.[12]



Year Title Role Notes
1969 The Trouble with Girls Auditioning Singer
1995 The Brady Bunch Movie Reporter for The Daily Tattler Scenes deleted
2009 Zombo Frumpy Woman Short
2015 Mama Claus, Deck the Halls with Guts Mama Claus


Year Title Role Notes
1968 Ironside Tracy Richards "Barbara Who"
1968 Julia Pamela "Paint Your Waggedorn"
1968–69 Gunsmoke Marianne Johnson "Abelia", "A Man Called 'Smith'"
1969–1974 The Brady Bunch Cindy Brady Main role
1970 The Boy Who Stole the Elephant Lucy Owens Disney TV film
1972 The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie Cindy Brady (voice) "The Brady Kids on Mysterious Island"
1972–73 The Brady Kids Cindy Brady (voice) Main role
1976–77 The Brady Bunch Hour Cindy Brady Main role
1981 The Brady Brides Cindy Brady Regular role
1990 The Bradys Cindy Brady Main role
1999 Pacific Blue Cindy Russell "Stargazer"
2010 The Young and the Restless Liza Morton 2 episodes
2012 The Great Halloween Puppy Adventure Rachel TV film
2013 Holiday Road Trip Edna TV film
2013–2016 Child of the '70s Nickel Laundry TV series
2019 A Very Brady Renovation Susan Olsen TV series
2021 Dragging the Classics: The Brady Bunch Margie Paramount Plus TV special
2021 Blending Christmas Valerie TV film


  1. ^ Moran, Elizabeth (1995). "The Cast, Then and Now". Bradymania: Everything You Always Wanted to Know and a Few Things You Probably Didn't (25th Anniversary ed.). Adams Media. p. 107. ISBN 1558504184. Susan Marie Olsen, the youngest of the Brady clan, is also the youngest of the Olsen clan. Born in Santa Monica, California, on August 14, 1961, to Lawrence and DeLoice ("Dee") Olsen…
  2. ^ William H. Taft High School Yearbook, Atinian, 1979, Woodland Hills, CA, pg. 40
  3. ^ "VH1 Names Gary Coleman the Greatest Kid Star". June 9, 2005. Archived from the original on November 29, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  4. ^ Olsen, Susan [@susanolsen888] (December 12, 2012). "I've always loved the porn rumor. I actually did contribute to the sound track of 'Love Probe From a Warm Planet'" (Tweet). Retrieved June 30, 2020 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Art with an Agenda – Inspired by Kelly Thomas". July 6, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  6. ^ Bose, Lilledeshan (June 27, 2012). "Art with an Agenda: An Exhibit Inspired by Kelly Thomas". Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  7. ^ Ponsi, Lou (June 30, 2012). "Kelly Thomas' life, death are focus of graphic exhibit". Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Bitette, Nicole (December 10, 2016). "'Brady Bunch' actress Susan Olsen fired from L.A. radio show hosting gig after homophobic rant". Daily News. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Hautman, Nicolas (December 10, 2016). "Brady Bunch's Susan Olsen fired as radio host after homophobic rant". US Magazine. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  10. ^ Nolasco, Stephanie (September 9, 2019). "Susan Olsen talks 'A Very Brady Bunch Renovation,' says voting for Trump got her in trouble on radio show". Fox News. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  11. ^ Lee, Luaine (September 8, 2019). "Bradys go 'home' again for HGTV". The Baltimore Sun. p. A&E 4.
  12. ^ Jones, Marcus (May 19, 2021). "Lifetime reunites High School Musical, Brady Bunch stars for holiday movies". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 22, 2021.

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